Mumbai, October 13: War of word intensified between Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and governor of the state Bhagat Singh Koshyari over reopening of places of worship amid COVID-19 pandemic. Replying to Koshyari's "turned secular" comment, Uddhav Thackeray said that he follows Hindutva and his Hindutva does not need any verification. India Reports 55,342 COVID-19 Cases, 706 Deaths in Single Day; Coronavirus Tally Crosses 71.7 Lakh-Mark, Fatality Toll Mounts to 1,09,856.
Thackeray stated that the state government it is not possible to withdraw lockdown immediately. He said, "As imposing lockdown all of a sudden was not right, revoking it completely at once will also be not a good thing. And yes, I am someone who follows Hindutva, my Hindutva doesn't need verification from you."
Statement by Uddhav Thackeray:
As imposing lockdown all of a sudden was not right, revoking it completely at once will also be not a good thing. And yes, I am someone who follows Hindutva, my Hindutva doesn't need verification from you: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray (in file photo) replies to Governor https://t.co/Tw26tZ2r6B pic.twitter.com/VgCSXnhTlh
— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2020
On Monday, the governor wrote a letter to Thackeray requesting him to reopen places of worship. He wrote, "You have been a strong votary of Hindutva. You had publicly espoused your devotion for Lord Rama by visiting Ayodhya after taking charge as Chief Minister. You had visited the Vitthal Rukmini Mandir in Pandharpur and performed the puja on Ashadhi Ekadashi." PM Narendra Modi Urges Maharashtra Residents to Follow Health Norms Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Says 'Jab Tak Davai Nahi, Tab Tak Dheelai Nahi'.
Letter by Bhagat Singh Koshyari:
Maharashtra Governor wrote to CM Uddhav Thackeray, seeking re-opening of places of worship with COVID precautions
"I wonder if you're receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing re-opening or you've suddenly turned 'secular' yourselves, the term you hated?" letter states pic.twitter.com/BedTgTSP2d
— ANI (@ANI) October 13, 2020
The governor further said that had the CM turned secular, as he was not giving permission for reopening of places of worship. Koshyari said, "I wonder if you are receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of places of worship time and again or have you turned 'secular' yourselves, a term you hated?" The governor also cited the examples of other states who had opened the religious places for devotees.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers stage protests across the state demanding the reopening of places of worship. Earlier in the day, BJP leader Prasad Lad was detained along with other party workers by police during a protest outside Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai.
Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state of the country. On Monday, the recorded 7,089 new infections taking its overall COVID-19 tally to 15,35,315. Till now, 40,51 4 have also lost their lives in Maharashtra due to coronavirus.